Why making a will is good for business

Why making a will is good for business

It’s good business to make sure your affairs are in order in the event of the unexpected – by making a will.

But if you are a company director, shareholder, sole trader, working full time or part time, in a partnership or self-employed, have you thought about what would happen to your business in the event of your death or ill health?

Everyone with a business interest should think about making a Business Person’s Will and drawing up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

A Business Person’s Will can protect your business interests, making sure all your assets are secure for the benefit of your family.

It allows you to nominate a Business Executor who can make decisions about continuing the business or selling it as a going concern to help your family in their hour of need.

The Inland Revenue says that 82 per cent of all businesses collapse or are badly affected after the death of a key figure – making a Business Person’s Will can ensure this doesn’t happen to the business you have worked so hard to build up.

The same logic applies to making a Lasting Power of Attorney. It ensures someone is appointed by you to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to make them for yourself.

LPAs have become more common in recent years, especially to deal with personal finances and health issues in the event of someone suffering from dementia.

But you can also make a LPA for business or commercial reasons – ensuring that someone you trust can make decisions for you to ensure your business does not fall into disarray.

If you are injured, or fall seriously ill, an LPA makes sure you have had a say in who is making strategic decisions for the good of the future of the business.

If there is no legal structure in place, there could be problems with:

  • Accessing the business’s bank accounts
  • Arranging contracts with suppliers
  • Paying staff salaries.

You need to think about who you would trust to take on this role, and talk it through with them so that they can take over in adversity. You can appoint more than one attorney, and specify in the agreement that they act together in certain areas but separately in others.

CASE STUDY

Mike Brewer had operated his gutter cleaning business for 20 years on a self-employed basis when he fell from his ladder and was killed.

He had regular customers dating back to the start of his business, many of who paid him by standing order to clean their gutters on a regular basis. He had two other people who worked for him and his business had built up a turnover of £95,000 a year.

At the wake after his funeral, his widow was offered £50,000 for the business by a rival if it could be transferred as a going concern with the customer list and trading records complete.

But she had no control over the books which were now in the hands of her husband’s ex co-workers and she had no legal rights as a Business Executor to act for the company and gain access to all the paperwork.

This meant she had no rights over “intellectual property” and could do nothing to stop the other two carrying on the business.

She sold her husband’s van, ladders, buckets and equipment for £5,000.

If Mike had taken an hour and a few pounds to draw up a Business Person’s Will, she would have been able to sell the business for £50,000, not £5,000!

Contact Will Makers of the Midlands on (01952) 305105 or 07786 548025 or email enquiries@willmakersofthemidlands.co.uk to find out how to protect your business.

Remember, if you don’t have a Will, the authorities will decide how and who should receive your assets according to rules called the ‘Laws of Intestacy’.

Simply call us on 01952 305 105 for more information or to arrange a convenient time to meet one of our consultants.

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WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT US

I have known David for over ten years and cannot recommend him too highly.

He has written several Wills for me and my family and also Powers of Attorney.

I have recently had my Will written by David. He came to our house and gave us a first class service, he was very helpful and guided us through the process. The after care is also excellent, you are given wallet sized cards which detail your Will and where it is stored, if legislation changes updates to the Will are completely automatic reflecting these changes. I would highly recommend David to any of my friends or colleagues.”

With two young children our major concern was to ensure that we implemented the right provisions for their future care and financial well being. The way that you structured our meeting and the advice that you provided, has left the pair of us feeling incredibly comfortable. We now have a legal document that would ensure our aims have been met. We couldn’t recommend David highly enough.

I have known David for some time and find him to be extremely knowledgeable and professional.

Friends and family of mine have used David’s services and the feedback has always been very positive.

Peter Clowes

Oliver & Debbie Rowe

James Godfrey

Karen Babington

I recently had to deal with a difficult situation getting my brother to resolve his Will and powers of attorney due to his illness – with various complications from previous marriages and many emotional barriers to clear solution of his wishes. His own solicitor had made a dreadful attempt at sorting things out and drafted a Will saying the exact opposite to the wishes I had been asked to deliver as executor. Having used David, previously, for my own Will, I called on him to deal with my brother’s affairs in Sussex. David could not have been more helpful, knowledgeable and swift to sort all this out, including travelling to my brother’s home to deal with matters. I don’t think I can recommend David highly enough – he has the ability to deal with what could be distressing and morbid in a most positive and compassionate manner.

Emma Davies

I recently had to deal with a difficult situation getting my brother to resolve his Will and powers of attorney due to his illness – with various complications from previous marriages and many emotional barriers to clear solution of his wishes. His own solicitor had made a dreadful attempt at sorting things out and drafted a Will saying the exact opposite to the wishes I had been asked to deliver as executor. Having used David, previously, for my own Will, I called on him to deal with my brother’s affairs in Sussex. David could not have been more helpful, knowledgeable and swift to sort all this out, including travelling to my brother’s home to deal with matters. I don’t think I can recommend David highly enough – he has the ability to deal with what could be distressing and morbid in a most positive and compassionate manner.

Emma Davies